The untold history of the Gibson Les Paul/SG TV

Gibson Les Paul/SG TV
(Image credit: Future / Olly Curtis)

Gibson entered the solidbody electric guitar market in 1952 with the introduction of the Les Paul Model/Goldtop. In 1954, the single-cutaway Gibson Les Paul range was expanded to include the top-of-the-line ‘black beauty’ Custom and the single P-90-pickup Sunburst finish Junior, while the following year saw the introduction of the dual-P-90 Limed Mahogany finish Special.

Although the Junior was aimed at students, before the end of the decade Gibson was advertising the stripped-back, no-frills guitar as “a favorite with students and advanced players”. Indeed, the design has been seen in the hands of many pro guitarists over the years, notably Leslie West, Mick Ralphs, Steve Howe, Keith Urban, Billie Joe Armstrong and Charlie Starr.

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Rod Brakes

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar WorldGuitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.